Hello everyone, this is the latest news and wisdom from Sr Rita, who is on a journey with cancer. You will find the eight previous “Wisdom Companion” pieces from Sr. Rita by searching this site.
I apologize for taking so long to update all of you. The CAT scan was late coming back but worth waiting for. The scan showed a reduction of the liver tumors and no new growth of existing sites. I am most grateful for your prayers, healing energy, and light, as I am sure they enable me to tolerate the chemo and support its efficacy. The three-week on/one-week off regimen of Taxol will continue. I cannot take Xgeva ( the drug that reduces the possibility of bone fractures) for a while. I fractured a tooth, and as a result, it’s infected. The dentist recommended extraction, which will happen May 30. Until then, lots of salt water, antibiotics, and acidophilus. The red count is low as expected, which affects energy. Chemo brain makes it hard to concentrate or read. Dear Friends made me a gift of Audible, so I get to listen to great literature. That is a big comfort. I just finished Barbara Kingsolver’s Demon Copperhead – a tough listen if you are sensitive to rough language, but the language is never used for the sake of sensationalism. I loved it.
Waiting for the results this time, I noticed a creeping malaise, not the dramatic ennui or insidious acedia, something more like the trance of Odysseus’s men with the Lotus Eaters — just having no energy to budge. It is hard not to be disappointed. At first, I thought, “Where is my energy to live in the present moment?” Then I realized this lack of energy was the present moment and laughed aloud at how easily my mind wants to discount the body’s wisdom and try to override it. All of which led me to the creative power of consent. I have written before about surrender not being capitulation but entrusting oneself to Love. Consent is an integral and life-giving element of the journey – the grace of letting be.
Genesis, the opening book of the Hebrew Scriptures, begins with formless darkness and chaos that starts to be transformed by a “let there be . . .” creative energy that calls forth not just one entity but its opposite or, better, its complement as well. With light comes darkness; with water comes land. And all is good. Consent says yes to all reality. It allows me to participate actively.
Authentic consent is a matter of discernment. Is the greatest good to say. “let this be?’ I sign a consent form for every treatment. Let this medicine, with its power to heal and side effects to cause discomfort be who it is and do what it does. Consent awaits; it allows time and space for unfolding. Each outcome requires fresh discernment.
For now, I am consenting to the ordinary course of cancer treatments. The spiritual life depends more frequently on the ordinary for miracles than on the extraordinary. The Jesus I follow used spit and touch.
So consent is my YES to the human condition, to the beauty of sustaining relationships overflowing with good will and prayer. Hopefully, I will regain some energy greater clarity in the coming days. Thank you for you. My prayers of gratitude surround you.